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Family sentenced for roles in launcher sting

March 15, 2018 GMT

An uncle and his niece were sentenced to federal prison terms Wednesday for their roles in a scheme to smuggle an M203 grenade launcher and assault-style rifles into Mexico.

Dulce Maria Rippstine, 38, of San Juan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle munitions to Mexico on Dec. 7, 2017, and her uncle, Juan Martin Segura-Olvera, 47, of Reynosa pleaded guilty June 29, 2017, to possession of a destructive device.

They are the last two defendants to be sentenced in a conspiracy to deliver five assault-style rifles and an M203 grenade launcher to an unnamed cartel member in Reynosa, court proceedings have revealed.

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U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera sentenced a tearful Rippstine to a little more than three years in prison, and Segura-Olvera was sentenced to a little more than four years in prison.

Rippstine, who was sentenced Wednesday morning, apologized to the court, while her fiancé watched from the audience, for her actions and pleaded for mercy.

“I’m here because I know I did a mistake,” Rippstine told Olvera. “I learned my mistake.”

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com